SHOW AND TELL
Bring a picture of something “astronomical”,e.g. the horse head nebula,
a constellation, or the corona from a solar eclipse. Also bring your date of birth.
We’re trying to get a grasp of the immensity of space.
The value we’ll be studying is humility. As powerful as humans are, space is so huge that it helps us understand how small we really are.
For science, we’ll study constellations.
Outside, we’ll make a sundial.
The songs we’ll be singing are Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, It’s a Small World, When You Wish Upon a Star, This Old Man.
We’ll be acting like astronauts.
Our art activities will be space goo, rocket ships, foil moonscapes, and moon craters.
For motor development, we’ll be working on strength with sit ups, wheelbarrows, and chin ups. In body movement, we’ll be working on bilaterality with body balls, clapping patterns, and ring jumps.
THE AGE OF IMPRINTING
Before around the age of six, the brain simply accepts what’s put there; whether it’s learning a language, understanding math concepts, knowing the names of continents, or trusting that the people in your life mean good for you. When we adopt the Montessori philosophy, it has enormous implications. When Dr. Charles Schwarzbeck turned his attention to Montessori techniques, he made these observations:
“After about an hour into the morning, the noise level has increased, and there are some small squabbles. The teacher moves to the center of the room and says, “Watch me, children.” She then stands motionless and quiet, encouraging the little ones to do the same. She gets the children to pay attention to how silent and immobile they can be. Their attention is totally focused on their little bodies. All the children are enjoying this challenge. They seem proud of their shared competence. Curiously, the children enjoyed the sensation of immobility and silence; they took pleasure in the silence itself. Montessori technique calls this the “silence game”. Through techniques like this one, Montessori approaches help young children to focus on regulating their bodies so that they can pay attention. Individual discipline is emphasized before anything else.
Everyone cannot do the same thing at once. There is only one of each type of equipment in the classroom. There is no alternative but to wait for a classmate to finish before beginning the same activity. The child has to respect the work of a classmate because this is the reality in the daily classroom experience.”
From Will Wright, SimCity designer: “Montessori taught me the joy of discovery. It showed you can become interested in pretty complex theories, like Pythagorean theory, say, by playing with blocks. It’s all about learning on your terms, rather than a teacher explaining stuff to you. SimCity comes right out of Montessori – if you give people this model for building cities, they will abstract from it principles of urban design.”
Linda Wallace in the Houston Chronicle reports on a list developed by human resources managers as essential skills needed to succeed in the 21st century. They included critical thinking and problem-solving, professionalism and work ethic, oral and written communications, and teamwork and collaboration (see conference-board.org). We continue to affirm what Montessori imprints on our children from the very beginning. Ask your child’s teacher to show you the progress sheet she uses to guide your child’s emotional intelligence to be able to cope successfully in his future.
Stone Soup Day – The children delight in participating in this old folk tale about the hungry soldiers who come into a village asking for food. When the villagers say they also have no food, the soldiers take pity and arrange for a feast of stone soup. One by one, the villagers contribute a few carrots, a couple of potatoes, and a few beans until truly a feast is born. With a bit of a twist put on this folk tale, we’ll have “stone snack.” On January Friday January 20, allow your child to bring something to contribute to the classroom snack. You might consider raisins, marshmallows, dry cereal, or even dry fruit.
Gwyneth enjoys the pin punching work, where she selects one continent at a time from the world puzzle, places it on the felt mat, and then uses the a pin puncher to punch holes along the outline of each continent. After all the continents have been punched out Gwyneth replicates the world puzzle has she glues and labels each continent on a large paper. Ava has been working on the cycle of the frog where Ava draws a picture of each step of the life cycle then colors and labels each part. Elizabeth and Ameli worked together on the body organ work which helps students understand the inner parts of their bodies. Elizabeth and Ameli drew, colored and labeled the stomach, lungs, and heart to list a few.